The West Bengal government on Saturday shut all educational institutions from March 16 to 31 as part of precautionary measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus infection. However, all board examinations will be held as per schedule, chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced.

"It has been decided that all government, government-aided, private educational institutions - schools, colleges, universities, Madarsas, SSK (Shishu Shiksha Kendra) and MSK (Madhyamik Shiksha Kendra) will remain closed from 16 March 2020, to 31 March 2020, in the public interest," Banerjee said in a press release.

Students at a Varanasi school attending the 'Karo na' class

Board exams to be conducted

"The internal examinations of these institutions will also remain suspended during the said duration. However, the Board examinations will be held as per schedule," she said.

The decision was taken "in view of the evolving situation on the spread of COVID 19, the advisories issues by WHO, UN, and central government and as a matter of abundant precaution to check its spread" in the state, she said.

Six people are in isolation in the hospital while 1,977 are under home surveillance among the 2,56,682 people screened in West Bengal since the global outbreak of Coronavirus. No one has tested positive for the fatal disease in the state so far, according to a health department official.